Jeffrey H. Ryan Hiker Author Photographer Speaker Podcaster Director

The North-South Trail (RI)

Thoreau knew it. So did Robert Frost. There’s just something cathartic about a stroll through the woods. As you might imagine, Rhode Island doesn’t boast too many far-flung views, but that’s ok. This walk provides plenty of pleasure nonetheless.

The only guidebook for the trail is long out of print (I’m sure glad I bought one back in the day), but you can still find maps for the whole trail online

Northern terminus of the North-South Trail
An interactive map for the North-South Trail is on the Rhode Island Geographic Information System website (link above).

The trail stays almost entirely within Rhode Island, with the exception of a little jog into Connecticut in the northern section. Several road crossings provide possibilities for beginning and ending points. My hiking buddy, Wayne, and I did the trip in three sections and were fortunate to have Rhode Island based friends that handled most of the drop offs and pick ups. The exception was Douglas State Forest, where we left a car in the parking lot. 

If you want to continue north, you can hop on the Midstate Trail to hike the 92 miles through Massachusetts. You can also continue up through New Hampshire on the Wapack Trail, which runs 21.5 miles north to its terminus on Mount Pack Monadnock (not to be confused with nearby Mount Monadnock). (Yes, Wayne and I have done all three. More about those trails on their separate pages.)